Computer Science is different from Information Technology!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I am a computer scientist by profession. However, one thing that surprises me is the fact that many people (only here in Malawi?) fail to distinguish computer science from the so called "information technology". So I googled on this and following are some of the results:

Computer Science, Computing, Computer Studies, ICT and Information Technology – are they all the same thing?

There is unfortunately a lot of confusion over these terms in the general population and in schools, and people who should know better use them as if they were interchangeable. Computer Science is the study of information and computation. The other terms are more vocational and mostly describe training courses in how to use particular pieces of software. Think of it this way: someone with an ICT qualification will know how to use a program like Word. Someone with a Computer Science qualification will know how to create a program like Word, and will also know how to make it easier to use, how to make it work on a variety of machines, how to make it easy to add additional functionality, how to fix bugs in it, how to make it communicate with other pieces of hardware or software, how to market it and how to deal with any legal or copyright problems with it. They will understand the theoretical basis underlying the program. They will also know how to do a million other things besides. Not just now, but throughout their working career.

Source: University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory

From a very broad perspective, Computer Science is the study of the principles of computing. It helps you better understand how computers solve problems, the kinds of problems that a computer can solve and how one would present a problem to a computer. Abstract ideas that rely on fundamental mathematical theories are at the heart of Computer Science. Information Technology is the study of technology that drives Information Systems for businesses. Understanding how technology/tools can best meet the Information management needs of an organization is at the heart of IT. Familiarity with such tools is an essential for a successful IT professional. The interesting relation between the 2 fields lies in the fact that more often than not, it is Computer Scientists that design and develop these tools that an IT professional uses. Personally, I think that an adaptable Computer Scientist should not find it difficult to migrate to the field of IT (if he/she chooses to do so) by learning more about the technology that is predominately used at his/her organization. An IT professional on the other hand, will have to go through mathematics/CS training in order to be a good computer scientist. In a nutshell, Computer Science is about understanding generic concepts,whereas IT is about knowing more facts.

Source: WikiAnswers

For more on what computer science is, check on Wikipedia


Finally we have fuel price cuts in Malawi...

Monday, February 02, 2009

I can't contain my joy that finally the government of Malawi has reduced fuel (gas) prices effective 1st February, 2009. While the rest of the world was enjoying fuel price cuts on the world market, Malawians were still being pinned to the wall!

The new fuel prices charged per litre are as follows: Petrol charges have been cut from MK251.20 (US$1.75) to MK213.50 (US$1.50), diesel was at MK234.50 (US$1.65) and is now at MK199.30 (US$1.40), while kerosene (or paraffin) was at MK165.30 (US$1.16) and is now selling for MK132.20 (US$0.93).

On a personal note, I use an automatic transmission car (a Toyota Ipsum Picnic) and I must say that somehow it consumes more fuel than my previous manual Mitsubishi RVR sports gear. I do not know if there is any scientific evidence that automatics consume more fuel in comparison to manuals. But my instincts are indicating that automatics may be fuel guzzlers!

In general, as Malawians we also expect a reduction in costs of transport, food etc. This is because in Malawi increase in fuel prices automatically trigger a corresponding increase in prices of essential goods and services. Moreover, as consumers in Malawi we have a right to demand a corresponding decrease in prices of goods and services this time around. That is if our businessmen, especially minibus owners, are honest enough!

Finally bravo to all civil society organizations in Malawi for fighting tooth and nail for the common Malawian to have this fuel price cut!


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP